chicken update

One of Maarten's chickens struts its stuff in Lutjebroek, Holland.

Exciting stuff! As of March 5, 2009 it is now legal for Vancouverites to keep hens in their backyards. The next step will be to develop policy guidelines “that both protect the health and welfare of citizens, and ensure the humane treatment of backyard hens.”

My friend Maarten, who lives in Lutjebroek (about one half hour outside of Amsterdam), loves his chickens. At present his backyard is home to 7 chickens plus 1 cock and the breeds include Barnevelder, Kriel and Wyandotte. I met his motley crew of feathered friends back in 2006 (see above) and have to admit that they were complete characters and the breakfast ingredients they provided were top notch. During a stay at our house last summer, Maarten was trying to convince me that getting some backyard hens of our own would be a great idea. At the time I dismissed his suggestion as completely odd and impractical, but now I’m actually starting to consider it….. Apparently one good egg laying chicken can produce 270 eggs per year (about 2 eggs every 3 days). That means that 3-4 chickens could easily keep a family of 4 in quiche, crepes and scrambles. Plus hens eat your compost scraps and are sure to provide a certain level of entertainment. Certainly food for thought.

As an aside, one of my favourite movies of all time is Annie Hall. In the closing scene, Woody Allen reflects on his ended romance with the joke…..This guy goes to a physiatrist and says “Doc, my brother’s crazy. He thinks he’s a chicken.” The doctor says “Well, why don’t you turn him in?” And the guy says “I would, but I need the eggs.”

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